Forced Entertainment

Real Magic
Jan 18 - 20, 2018

$23 | $30 WEEK OF • BUY TICKETS Merrill Wright Mainstage

THEATER   |   U.K.
Thu, Jan 18–Sat, Jan 20 at 8 pm

Running time: 85 minutes
* Named one of the Top 10 performances in theater for 2017 by The Guardian.* 


Real Magic is a dark, hilarious, and brazenly chaotic performance from contemporary theatre company Forced Entertainment. In a world of absurd disconnection, struggle and comical repetition a group of performers attempt an impossible illusion – part mind-reading feat, part cabaret act, part chaotic game show – in which they endlessly revisit moments of defeat, hope, and anticipation. Caught in a world of second-chances and second-guesses, variations and changes, distortions and transformations, Real Magic takes the audience on a hallucinatory journey, creating a compelling performance about optimism, individual agency, and the desire for change.

Real Magic is performed by Richard Lowdon and Claire Marshall, members of the Forced Entertainment creative team, who are joined by regular FE collaborator Jerry Killick. 


“Beckett meets trash TV.” —

"Devilishly simple. Fiendishly intricate." —The Guardian 


Watch the trailer:

Related Programs

Thu, Jan 18
Studio Supper with Julian Hagood (Harry’s Fine Foods
Sign up for the Studio Supper email list to know when reservations open up for this dinner.

Fri, Jan 19
Post-show conversation in the Studio Theater with performers Richard Lowdon, Claire Marshall, and Jerry Killick and Todd London, Executive Director, Professor, and Chair of the UW School of Drama; moderated by OtB Artistic Director Rachel Cook.

Sat, Jan 20
WTFJH? Saturdays: After the show the lobby and FUBAR will be open so audience members can connect and talk about the performance.

Forced Entertainment is a group of six artists based in Sheffield, U.K. Founded in 1984, they make work in theatre and performance and tour to audiences around the world. They have made serious work that turned out to be comical, and comical work that turned out to be deadly serious, digging deep into what theatre and performance might mean and the kinds of dialogue it can open with contemporary audiences. Their many projects aim to excite, challenge, question, and entertain other people. FE is as much interested in confusion as they are in laughter. 


The Spalding Gray Award supports fearlessly innovative, generative national and international theater artists and ensembles. These artists exemplify Gray's legacy by using creative approaches to push the field of theater into new dimensions.  They reach into our daily experience to create resonant, transcendent work, leaving us more than we were before.

Previous recipients of the award include: Richard Maxwell (2014); Young Jean Lee (2012); Rabih Mroué (2010); Radiohole (2009); National Theater of the USA (2007); Heather Woodbury (2006). Each artist/ensemble receives a commission to produce a new work in addition to the opportunity to tour the work nationally to each Consortium partner. 
The Spalding Gray Consortium is made up of curators and artistic directors from On the Boards, PS122, Walker Art Center, Wexner Center for the Arts, and The Andy Warhol Museum. 


Real Magic is co-produced by PACT Zollverein Essen, HAU Hebbel Am Ufer Berlin, Künsterlhaus Moustonturm Frankfurt, Tanzquartier Wien Vienna, ACCA Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, University of Sussex, and the Spalding Gray Award

Photos: Hugo Glendinning